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Robert Marchessault was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1953, and a year later his family moved to Philadephia, Pennsylvania, and later to Syracuse, New York. He studied at Le lycée Fustel-de-Coulanges in Strasbourg France, and in 1970, returned to Montreal and completed art studies at Concordia University where he met his wife and fellow artist Teresa Cullen and together they moved their studios to Toronto. Robert began exhibiting in the Gadatsy Gallery in Yorkville, followed by the Bau-Xi Galleries where he is still represented. After completing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Toronto, the couple moved to a new country studio in Oro-Medonte, Ontario where they continue to work.
Marchessault's work has developed over the years from representational to abstraction, and finally landing on a blend of approaches displayed in exhibitions nationally and internationally. He is now represented by galleries in both the United States and Canada, and his work is held in numerous corporate and private collections. His work has even made an appearance in the Netflix original movie, Always Be My Maybe.
"'When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself.' --Ekhart Tolle
'I see trees, plants and bushes as tracing energetic linkages between earth and sky. The tree breathes what we exhale. When we exhale, the tree breathes. So. We have a common destiny with the tree. We are all from the earth.' -- Floyd Red Crow
My paintings are an active response to a sense of wonder at being in the world. They do not address any specific art discourse or theory. Using a simple landscape format provides a surface on which I try to express and/or reflect on my mind-state while contemplating experiences I have had - mostly outdoors.
Since the late 1970s my work has explored a range of stylistic treatments with an ongoing focus on space, distance, atmosphere, light, energy and textures. I compose and paint images that resonate between principle subjects and surrounding spaces. Sometimes the sensation of momentarily losing "myself" occurs in open places; a perception where boundaries are only shimmering illusions and a holistic presence is pervasive.
My landscapes are composed from memories and past experiences. I use memory as a filtering agent to distill an image for a painting, discarding useless details. Sometimes I do onsite drawings or take photographs (which pile up in my studio), but I do not generally refer to them often while painting. When a piece is complete, it must reflect an emotional sensation that calls to mind some aspect of my perceptions. It just needs to feel right."